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mutant

Mandrake cultivation discussion

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Cool!

I was only joking asking about if you were growing them right,

that text I attached has some of the strange details, much like those mentioned by Malverde, except stranger!

Like watering them with cows milk in which bats were drowned, stuff like that!

Obviously, you have done an excellent job!

What's next, making a Homonculus?

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I am impressed!!

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had to google homonculus.... nah I am all right with archetypical type big breasted woman roots

I missed the joke of yr last post

yep these bugger can grow big, even though I think I made several mistakes this last year in watering.

so they are not as easy as I thought they were, but not nearly as difficutl as they say.

I am begining to get convince that the root shape and its immense variety is linked with watering habits (rain habits) of a grow

one root died, but most of them have become very beautiful and big indeed.

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Your roots are very fucking impressive indeed Mutant.

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Mutant-

RE: watering issues..could you please elaborate on this? Too much water?

Please share the wisdom cultivated from this time with the mandagora if you would be so kind....

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I got some mandrake seeds, am going to see if I can start them in sterile conditions for micropropagation.

Started 20 seeds

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mandrake growing thread project

This thread is packed with information in regards with growing mandrake. Its also a log to how mature Mandragora automnalis behaves in pots here . I will answer to you, but please also re-read the whole thread. In time I will probably write a more structured + improved experience log as I gain more experience.

I have compiled and included in this thread's posts what I thought was the best info on the topic both in here, SAB, and in the www about growing mandrake. There are also some notes on starting from seed.

Now, I have said this before, will repeat : the reason I am doing so great in just 2,5 years of growing them is that I started from roots I took from habitat. Root cuttings with rosettes, if you like... I did not start my plants from seed. I take pride on the fact I had this awesome idea and executed it.. I dont even think I killed any of the 60 plants I took the top of , of which 1/3 survived the transplant and first summer. I do have some casualtties each year, but the success in propagation via cutting has me optimistic. Plus I learn from mistakes.

since then some 1000+ seeds have been sent all over the world, sold, gifted or traded and one root sold away (to oz, and it made it through, btw) these in the last two years.

The ones I did start last year from seed I just threw them away on some pots and the tray... did not do anything.. fresh seed, thrown on soil in the right season for the northern hemishpere, which is around mid september more or less. Work wonders for me, since I got plenty of seed to spare.

Now the ones in the tray I doubt they made it through summer (too shallow tray which I did not protect to a shadier place, so I am quite sure they dried out) , the ones that sprout in some deeper pots I tranplanted them eventually (they where very shocked by this) and a couple made it.

now here are some of the main points of successful mandrake growing IME so far..

0. the photoperiods of the plant

the plant seems strongly photoperiodic (both words are greek by the way, phos, periodos) and it has periods it is inactive (OFF) and active (ON) ...

Its the periods the plant is OFF that is the most sensitive to wrong handling by the grower. When the plant in ON, it seems to enjoy plenty of water. And you can judge by the rosette.... WHen the plant is invisible, then its more tricky.

Unfortunately the plant can go OFF (inactive) more than one time, during the season, until it will finally rest in summer. Plant will go OFF each time the root reaches the bottom of the pot, reports say, and it seems to confirm. That is rosettes stop, and stop growing for some weeks. Later they re grow from the smae rosette or another rosette sprouts, and so on...

It seems these short idle periods of the plant , when its OFF, inactive, are the ones, one should be careful and probably avoid watering. remember this can happen if the root hit the bottom of the plant. Thus, deep pots is very good idea.

When the rosette is growing and fresh , though, it seems very easy plant...

1. keeping the root alive during the resting period (summer time, for north hemisphere)

its obviously more difficult to do this with a 1 year old seedling , as this is a succulent plant in its behaviour and it stores girth, energy, water in its root complex. a smallish cutting or 1 year old seedling might dry out, bake during summer. Of course I am in zone 9 or something. Elsewhere, f.e. zone 6, you might have to watch it during the freezing period, which seems like a harder trick, since I dont know how it tolerates winter low temps..

Point is, the larger the root is , it seems, the hardest it is to make mistakes and kill it.. But that is not to say that a bigger root cannot be killed or damaged by wrong handling.

I suspect the best practice is to stop watering the roots completely when the rosette (leaves) disappear around may, and place in a shady, relatively cool place for the summer. washing the roots in begining september allows the grower to check the root out, and place/plant in the optimum pot and positioning to ensure the best growth for the next season.

So, a watering program following the plants needs seems essential.. no hasty waterings, no watering during summer or at the end of the season (end may) , especially when the rosette has finished its cycle and/or is not visible.

Bad watering habits could result in death or damage in 3 different ways

a) small root, too much heat, root dries out (partly or completely)

b ) relatively frequent watering with little water could cause the upper part of the root to rot. It the soil doesn;t dry soon it might rot more root, or all of it.

c) soaking watering in the wrong season , that is summer : it can kill a root completely, even a relatively biggish one... it can rot the bottom parts of the root, leaving some upper part alive..

all these are from experience, but since the root is underground, they are somewhat suggestive of what might be happening.

2,more things to consider

even if you got a decent sized root or a decent cutting, you dont really know how deep to plant, unless you gain experience... and of course, as I am suspecting, root behaviour and form strongly depend on watering habits and zone.

Unless the root starts forming a rosette BEFORE you plant it up again ( it happened last year when I uprooted laterin in mid septempber, and it hapenned this year in just one of the biggest roots), its more tricky to decide "how deep"

but there are also new buds in the root (check out the pics, its the more whitish spots, pretty sure its new growth) indicant of root activity....

ENEMIES

my mandrakes are attacked by ant-helped mealies... rosettes can hide a very strong colony of mealies, so note to self, next year, clean them up, as the stressing of the rosette should inferere strongly with the health of the root especially in the grow period.

the soil is certainly something to consider... you should use a more free draining material in zone 6 than I do in zone 9... and still I have decided to plant them in a more freedraining material myself (more perlite, nothing fancy) myself..

3. To sum up

* deep pots

* controlled waterings and schedule for the resting period, according to yr climate

* watch out then the rosetter stops and gets in idle perios for couple weeks

* protect the plant in winter (its an active period for it) since it comes from warm areas

*maybe consider growing m.officinarium, as it is known to exist in mid europe countries which get freezing temps in winter

*when a newbie - consider checking the root during the growing period, even though its sure gonna stress the plant

Edited by mutant
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3. shouldnt miss commenting on the mystic part of the thing and the habitat plants

like Malverde said, this plant is magick, because magick is make believe and make believe around this plant still stand strong..

whatever tha case, its virtually impossible to uproot a whole plant from habitat.. older plants seem to go to impressive depths - I beheaded some 60 mandrakes from the habitat and in some way I am convinced I did a wonderful thing for them.. spreading the genes of that particular island everywhere! I would be proud if I were them mandrakes... plus there is a root that I recognize (its the one I dug the most , trying to get the largest chunk I could) and I remember it comes from a very important place of the island.... so important that admitting the actual location would be illigal, since its illegal to dig in archeological sites :P ...... especially when the site keeper encourages you to do it! (talking about a 12 cm fatty root, cutting, mind you , NOT something like you see in my home grows, which exceed 30 cm's in length

note that I found more populations of mandrake around areas of historical importance, especially the oldest sites (unharmed by civilization areas ) , but there were also everywhere where the ecology said they would be: edge of the roads, olive groves , stony areas, stony paths, paths, archeological sites.... bingo!

anyways there's still interest for the plant and root itself, let alone a live root... especially of the esoterist/mystic kind ..... some of these people wanna use the material as a symbol and not eat it, and some people sell them ginger instead of mandrake :P

for what its worth, large Hyoscyamus plants, which are annual, do interesting looking , fatty rootlets which are considered as 'good' as mandrake root or Hyoscyamus flower, in terms of alkaloidal content.

In that sense, and irregardless the legal status, growing mandrake to eat the root is equivalent to growing peyos to eat 'em - its stupid as you can get the trip from much cheaper, easier to grow , easier toget plants...

moreover

roots are very interesting yeah I got that from the begining, and its so funny I never expected to see man shaped root but I found a woman shaped root, and also a woman in a sexy pose for that matter !!!

tbh I was a little surprised noone commented... a lady gaia , the archetypal woman in a root and noone freaks out..

I am amazed...

I wonder If I should cut the thin roots to make a more proper photo session, before re-planting, or should I sell it for a ridiculous amount of money in ebay? I dont really get this mystic thing

also, I dont know if its that I handled the roots while undigging and all (havent smoked tropane leaf for loooong time) or the new superpotent pot thats been circulating here , but I really had increased hard-ons lately...

I think I will try to sell it... some 150 Uk pounds 200 euros would be an archievable sale...

or should I got more? :blush:

but is this wrong? considering, the spirit inside is as close to the devil as no intoxicant plant ....

tropane alkaloids in safe doses are social inhibitors, but in a different way than alcohol

the combo, boy the combo of low dose alcohol and low dose tropane alkalods (smoked, for safetey)

is really another dimention of social inhibation and inhibition in general..

still havent really experimented with this

but I still consider Hyoscyamus my fave of the family , for a variety of reasons. But I admit that mandrake cultivation is extremely interesting and challenging , it proves!

PS: some people are more prone to use alcohol, amanitas and tropane plants sensibly and we are sure to be a minority within the minority of the ethno-scene which is more around the classic psychedelics

PS2: This is a thread about growing mandrake. DO NOT EAT any part of those plants as they are very toxic! (unless you know what you are doing which is another thing overall)

Edited by mutant
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Excellent, thanks, Mutant!

I too pride myself of transplanting native plants etc and growing them.

It is a whole different story to grow them where they are not native, or cant grow outdoors.

As you mentioned, my intent is growing them as a mystical plant,

for those who might be inclined to such things.

I hope my seeds in micropropagation medium make is ok!

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Mutant, could you please tell me what the temperatures and photoperiods

are that correspond to the different 'awake/dormant' stages of the plant?

Also, how dry/rainy is it during these stages?

I am a bit confused about what these would be at what time in different hemispheres.

Very cool you gathered the plants at and ancient and sacred site....

I am attempting to start them from seed here .

Wish I could live in white marble ruins with olive and fig trees on a mountain temple

overlooking the ocean on an island

with stone bathtubs, and water running down channels on top of small walls along side the road

Where old women in shawls carry bundles of firewood and are afraid of crows and toads

where I could grow my plants and herbs

and partake of the Eleusian Mysteries.

Edited by shonman
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I think that temperature is what causes the plant to go dormant and not the photoperiod. I have limited experience growing this plant though.

I was able to keep 1 of my Mandragora officinarum awake throught the summer by keeping it indoors and not letting temps go past mid-80's F. I think as soon as temps reach 90F+ the plant will go dormant. I tend to water every 2 weeks when awake and 3-4 weeks when dormant.

Ps... are you asking about the natural environment conditions?

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I would like to grow this plant where it does not usually grow, in pots....

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yeah but are you asking about outside conditions, both here and in the island I first got it?

island is zone 9 or zone 10 I am in zone 8+ zone 9 or something

modern shaman>

I think officinarium has a different (reverse?) cycle than automnalis and I expect it grow better in colder zones

shonman I hope you are not trying with the wrong species

I already told about the periods that plant acts but here's it once again

CYCLE

start to be active in september,, most roots, especially larger ones sprout in late september, rosetter grows and plant enjoys plenty of water during automn and winter.. early spring it flowers, then fruits if you have a couple, maybe re-rosettes a bit in early to mid spring then seems to wither, even though it can re-sprout with new rosette even in may.... from then on you should rest it ...
Edited by mutant

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pretty clear they dont exactly like and support demonic plants around here... :)

I would love to be reading the info I am giving!

probably some bad datura experience of everyone of the old sab crowd , typical with every early old hippy.

I used to read datura reports in erowid and be amzed by the motive I saw in all experiences...

amazing, just amazing

how these medicinal plants

got so involved in and around the evil the devil...

and how idiots around the world were so eager to get stoned

that they went through the datura delirium, sometimes is could go really bad...

respect devil plants

have to grow to understand....

mandragora belladona hyoscyamus datura UTD

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yes, but what are the temperatures at those times of year?

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Here is a mandragora officinarum coming out of summer dormancy.

post-14238-0-44262200-1442447512_thumb.j

This other mandragora officinarum has been growing all year round and hopefully will flower this year. I'll post another photo another day of the roots.

post-14238-0-46912700-1442449436_thumb.jpost-14238-0-97648300-1442449711_thumb.jpost-14238-0-20814800-1442449779_thumb.j

Temps have started staying below 90 F due to cloudy weather.

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Nice photos!

This plant seems challenging to grow out of its native area.

Since I am starting them from seeds.....for one thing,...what temperature is good to sprout those at?

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everything does well outdoors in its native conditions.

I am wanting to start some now, far from where it grows.

Re creating good conditions.

and so, I asked, what are temps/ conditions for mandrake seeds to sprout?

I have some, none have sprouted.

Haughty Culture -

hawr-ti-kuhl-cher]

noun

1.

the cultivation of a garden, orchard, or nursery; the cultivation of flowers, fruits, vegetables, or ornamental plants.

2.

the science and art of cultivating such plants.

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These seeds might not be viable maybe??

What if I put them in the freezer for a few days, do you think that would work?

Edited by shonman

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These are disinfected madrake seeds in sterile agar, so there are some variables involved.

I will do a search, -also have some Ginseng seeds that were not stratified...that I will stratify this winter.

The 'instructions' that came with them said 'Just sow in a sunny window'

Perhaps I do need bats drowned in cows milk on the full moon, to water these seeds with

and some graveyard dust to work with this plant, as the ancient texts suggest!!

Edited by shonman

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On agar or in dirt it doesn't matter. Give them cold stratification then sterilise them. Use the freshest seed possible and be prepared to wait a long time, longer than your sterile agar might be able to cope with. If you are growing in vitro and it seems your quite knowledgeable, start with your plants in dirt then try and transfer them over.

What I'm getting at is its tricky enough to sprout these let alone what your suggesting. I think it's important to know a plant in dirt before you take it to agar, if that was the case here you would've known how they react to different conditions and how long / intensive it can be to raise them. I had 2 from 10 germinate from eu seeds and they took months to come up.

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Fresh seeds have a pretty good germination rate without cold stratification.

P1140149.jpg

This is a year-old seedling , its so small due to the shallowness of the tray it was sown

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